According to an annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, 149 million people in the United States planned to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2018. With a whopping 27% of those interviewed reporting that their festivities would include visiting a bar or restaurant, the benefits of the Irish holiday for those in the industry are immense. Amid an ongoing global pandemic, however, large cities canceled celebrations altogether in 2020. As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world, this year’s celebrations cannot meet the celebratory trends of years past. Despite this, the celebrations will live on. Let’s look at the big data:

Table of Contents

  1. Retail Purchases
  2. Alcohol Consumption
  3. Social Plans
  4. Using Data to Plan Your St. Paddy's Day

Retail Purchases

Whether Irish by DNA or simply in spirit, Americans from coast to coast fully embrace St. Patrick’s Day festivities. According to an annual study conducted by the NRF, around 50% of Americans plan to celebrate in 2021, with each participant planning to spend an average of $40.77 on related items. While the most will be spent on food and beverages, around 34% will also purchase items like party decorations, green shirts, and leprechaun-style hats. 

  • Americans will collectively spend around $5.1 billion dollars on Saint Patrick’s Day in 2021, which is down from 2020’s figure of $6.16 billion nationwide. 
  • Cabbage shipments increase by 70% as one of the most consumed foods for the holiday. 


Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol and Saint Patrick’s Day go hand in hand, so it isn’t surprising that the day is the 4th most popular day for drinking in America behind New Year's Eve, Christmas, and the Fourth of July. While alcohol consumption is a popular pastime for adults of legal age, it is crucial to keep safety in mind amidst the celebratory drinks. A look at the data reveals just how much alcohol will be consumed, along with the dangerous side of the holiday:

  • Alcohol sales go up approximately 150% on Saint Patrick’s Day.
  • Guinness beer purchases skyrocket to 819% more than usual. 
  • A death related to drinking and driving occurs every 30 minutes on Saint Patrick’s Day, involving both drunk drivers and intoxicated pedestrians. 


Social Plans

The impact of Covid-19 has drastically affected the plans of most Americans when it comes to celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in 2021. Last year, at the start of the pandemic, those who typically celebrate were saddened to learn that beloved traditions would be put on pause as annual parades and parties were canceled. Unfortunately, the 2 million spectators of the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day parade and the 400,000 who gather each year in Chicago to watch the annual river dying ceremony will once again find themselves making other arrangements. While the vast majority of those interviewed plan on celebrating at home, around 13% of people plan to attend a private party while another 10% report that they will attend an event at a local bar or restaurant. The most popular way to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, however, remains unchanged with 79% of people stating that they will wear green.

  • 32% of people will celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at home, while only 10% will celebrate at a local bar or restaurant. 
  • 55% of people report that they will avoid any social gatherings due to Covid-19.
  • Annual celebrations like dyeing the Chicago River and the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day parade will be canceled for the second year in a row due to Covid-19 restrictions and concerns. 
  • 79% of people will wear green clothing to mark the holiday.

Using Data to Plan Your St. Paddy's Day


By delving deeper into the big data associated with celebrations like Saint Patrick's Day, those in the service and e-commerce industries can gain valuable wisdom that allows them to get ahead of the trends. With ETL, retailers can integrate their high volumes of data from many legacy systems into one easily accessible, centralized data warehouse. This enables you to have a complete overview of critical data regarding everything from online purchases to CRM in real-time. In turn, you can make well-informed decisions with inventory management, marketing campaigns, revenue forecasting, and customer support to save time and money while enhancing the customer experience.

Schedule a call with one of our team members today to see if is a good fit for your business.